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Electric (cordless) kettle repair #5129560 06/09/19 06:25 PM
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Number_35 Offline OP
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Our Oster kettle quit working yesterday. By cordless, I mean that the base plugs in, but the actual kettle can be removed. It's probably our most-used kitchen appliance, as we boil up water for several big pots of tea daily. This was a minor disaster.

I watched a couple of YouTube videos, both indicating that it's typically the thermostat that fails. (One was quite amusing - the presenter was Indian, and referred to the kettle as a "geyser", which is likely a Brit term. And he pronounced it the Brit way, "geezer". So I figured if I attempted a repair, it would be an old geezer trying to fix an old geyser.) LOL

Anyway, I took the bottom cover off the kettle (two Phillips screws and one tamper-proof screw I had to persuade a bit) and measured the resistance of the heating element - around 10 Ohms as expected.

I'd always assumed these used an inductive coupling, but in fact there are contacts on the kettle and the base. The ones on the base are shielded by a spring-loaded cover when the kettle is not on the base. Poked around with the Ohmmeter and got high resistances or opens for all of the tests. (N pin of the plug to either of the contacts under the base's protective contact cover, ditto for the Hot pin of the plug, and same for the ground. On the kettle, found high resistance between the Hot and Neutral contacts.

Couldn't find any electrical contact cleaner, but used some brake cleaner. Ohmed everything out again, and had continuity on all three circuits (H, N, and G) on the base, but the heater circuit (H to N) on the kettle was open. Then I realized the switch was off. duh Turned it on, and continuity was good.

Put some water in it, and it worked great. Comparable replacements run c. $50 (plus our 13% sales tax) so that was a few minutes well spent. Takeaway: Check the contacts before scrapping your electric kettle.

Re: Electric (cordless) kettle repair [Re: Number_35] #5129597 06/09/19 07:02 PM
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great when something can be repaired and spared from the trash heap!

Re: Electric (cordless) kettle repair [Re: Number_35] #5129984 06/10/19 07:47 AM
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Congratulation on the repair ! :-)


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God bless
Re: Electric (cordless) kettle repair [Re: Number_35] #5130011 06/10/19 08:19 AM
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ARCOgraphite Offline
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Good job. I had one of these in my old office. It was an indispensable dispenser for hot water for tea in the AM.

I recall the element had the highest wattage that you could run on a 15amp breaker without popping it.

It boiled a pint in about 40 to 50 seconds.

Thats fast.

They pulled this model due to "safety issues".

I read people were getting scalded by hot water.

Duh!
[Linked Image]


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Re: Electric (cordless) kettle repair [Re: ARCOgraphite] #5130044 06/10/19 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Good job. I had one of these in my old office. It was an indispensable dispenser for hot water for tea in the AM.

I recall the element had the highest wattage that you could run on a 15amp breaker without popping it.

It boiled a pint in about 40 to 50 seconds.

Thats fast.

They pulled this model due to "safety issues".

I read people were getting scalded by hot water.

Duh!
[Linked Image]
I guess we're an impatient society, but our 1435 W kettle does seem to take a long time to bring 1.7 l of water to a boil. I like that Sunbeam unit you've shown. #1 son had a different solution - in his house he wired in a 240 V receptacle, bought a Brit kettle (240 V), and retrofitted a North American-style 240 V plug. The 240 V kettle is very fast compared to ours. If we ever get to our kitchen reno I'd like to do the same.

Re: Electric (cordless) kettle repair [Re: Number_35] #5130068 06/10/19 09:29 AM
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One of the few great thing in the tool box -- brake cleaner.

Re: Electric (cordless) kettle repair [Re: Number_35] #5130077 06/10/19 09:42 AM
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kschachn Online Content
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Originally Posted by Number_35
#1 son had a different solution - in his house he wired in a 240 V receptacle, bought a Brit kettle (240 V), and retrofitted a North American-style 240 V plug. The 240 V kettle is very fast compared to ours. If we ever get to our kitchen reno I'd like to do the same.

Total watts is more important than voltage, some of the 220v/240v kettles don't consume any more power than the 120v ones do and wouldn't be any faster.

Having said that though, this one is rated at 3000W. Hmm, might be an interesting idea:
https://www.amazon.com/Electric-Stainless-Temperature-Different-Dynastar/dp/B07JNRSFGX


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Re: Electric (cordless) kettle repair [Re: kschachn] #5130447 06/10/19 03:38 PM
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Agreed, it's Watts (power) which determines the heating speed. We'd wondered about lopping the plug off a conventional kettle and putting on a 240 V plug ...

R = 10 Ohms
E = 240 V

I = E/R = 24 A

Oops, way too much for the 20 A receptacle!

Let's assume (because I don't know what the Brit kettle is rated at) that its heating element's resistance was 20 Ohms:

R = 20 Ohms
E = 240 V

I = E/R = 12 A. OK, that, as a steady-state load, is at the limit for a 15 A circuit w/ #14 AWG wire. I think he used a 20 A breaker and #12 AWG wire.

Resulting wattage: P = E*I = 240 V * 12 A = 2880 W.

So, to double the power consumption of a resistive load, you can double the input voltage and double the resistance.

That should halve the time to boil the water.

Re: Electric (cordless) kettle repair [Re: Number_35] #5131171 06/11/19 09:02 AM
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At home we have a kettle on the gas stovetop. That take about 4 minutes to boil 1litre on a med low flame.

You can also make a alcohol burner. if you don't want to "wast" electricity converting it to heat.


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